When the public supports you, but the Mayor’s against you and the federal government isn’t doing anything to help protect their own historic site, where do you turn? Well, for members of the Dead Doll Dancers, the answer is simple: Prince Charles.
For months, the Dead Dolls and other members of the Save The Main coalition have been trying to protect Café Cleopatra where they perform as well as the Red Light District in general from Christian Yaccarini‘s Angus Development Corporation, who want to replace historic buildings and active performance spaces with an office tower.
Despite public outcry and a ruling against the project by the Office de Consultation Publique de Montreal, mayor Gerald Tremblay insists on ramming the project through. Now that he’s been re-elected and Parks Canada still shows no signs of wanting to protect a part of our history that they even designated a heritage site, there’s one hope left.
Prince Charles is a heritage buff. The Dead Dolls along with their supporters including Optative Theatrical Laboratories have sent an open letter and video plea asking the prince to do something to save Montreal’s Red Light District:
A group comprised of the Dead Dolls’ Velma Candyass and other opponents of Tremblay and Yaccarini’s forced evictions (the author of this post was among them) went to deliver the Prince the message in person when he visited the Black Watch yesterday. They weren’t the only ones, though. Quebec separatists and anti-monarchists were there to tell the prince that he wasn’t welcome in Quebec and the Montreal Police riot squad were there to tell the crowd to move down to de Maisonneuve just west of Bleury.
Riot squad move protestors and everyone else down the street (photo Domenic Castelli)
While Dead Doll Velma Candyass did have a chance to speak with one of the guards before the whole crowd was moved down the street, the chance to meet the Prince face-to-face wasn’t going to happen. While media as varied as The Gazette, La Presse and Paris Match picked up the story, the Prince himself has yet to comment on the request.
Dead Doll Velma Candyass and riot cops (photo Domenic Castelli)
The group is hoping he does before he returns to England.